U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 04-08-2013, 07:39 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,121,304 times
Reputation: 3118

Advertisements

It's also a lot of hard work on the "savvy" parents end to "game" the system. Each signs a contract that ensures their participation in the operation of the school. It's a lot more than just a bake sale, too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-08-2013, 08:06 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,992 posts, read 42,100,107 times
Reputation: 14811
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
It seems urban planners, on this board and IRL would much rather concern themselves with stuff like transit, be it LR, BRT, car-sharing or whatever, "walkability including having a bar no more than ten paces from one's front door, cultural institutions like art museums, and so on rather than schools. How did these guys (mostly) and women expect to attract people to the cities for their entire life cycles if they didn't give any thought to the schools?
As to why many posters don't bother mention schools, I'd guess most if not almost all are well aware that city schools are a huge problem for cities. But the forum is a forum for things people like to talk about, people talk about things that interest them. I don't have a particular interest in education, I know little about what makes a good school. I've said about as much I can say on all threads we've had about schools. I'm not anti-intellectual, I'd be happy to discuss say, math, science or history depending how in-depth it is. But education? Not really. So I've stopped adding much.

As urban planners in real life, urban planners aren't educators. From wikipedia urban planning is:

Urban planning (urban, city, and town planning) is a technical and political process concerned with the control of the use of land and design of the urban environment, including transportation networks, to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities.

Not really anything connected with education. It would make no sense for a city to hire an urban planner to fix its school system. They should be aware of the problems, but it's out of their job description.

Quote:
School districts in many cities tend to be separate entities from the city governments, perhaps that is why.
I'm not sure being separate entities is positive or negative. As an aside, on Long Island, school districts are almost always separate entities from the municipal government while in New York City, the school district is controlled directly by the city government.

Quote:
The issue with city schools is not poverty per se. When I was a kid, my hometown was full of people of my parents' generation and a little older who did not speak English until they went to school, even though they were born in the US. These people were born approx. 1900-1925. Their own parents were born abroad. Railroad and steel companies used to send recruiters over to places in Italy, Poland, and other eastern and southern European countries to recruit poor people to the US to work in the mills and on the railroads. These people, almost entirely men, got their passage paid to the US; after they had saved some money they sent for their families. They tended to be among the poorest of the poor in Europe, and they weren't rich in the US, either. There were no unions back in the early 1900s. Yet these kids went to school and learned English there; in many cases they were the first in their families to even attend formal schools. Many city schools achieved stellar reputations at educating.
One big difference between today and back then is high school graduation rates. A high school graduation rate of say, 60% would have been rather good. Today, it would be rather abysmal. An immigrant son in the 1910s could drop out of 10th grade and get a blue collar job. Today, someone dropping out of high school would likely join the ranks of the underclass. It's not just poverty, but various demographic factors partially based on race and class that are an uncomfortable subject. Did the city stop caring about public schools sometime in the last half-century or did something else happen? In New York City, black neighborhoods that have say, 1/3 higher incomes than another heavily Asian neighborhoods have worse schools that said schools in heavily Asian neighborhood. What's going on? And then this old post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I met a college student who went through city public schools (Queens, NYC) some days ago. Didn't mention about elementary school or middle school but talked about her high school(s). Spent 6 months in Catholic high school, hated it and left for public school. She then found her local "zoned" school was horrible. Besides having gang troubles, the school had frequent "riots" periods when groups of students would be so disruptive that 30 minutes of class time was interrupted. The neighborhood is decent, but within the boundaries is the largest single housing project in the city, which she said was the source of most of the troubles ("they had no interest in education"). She lived in a housing project (at least her mother did, parents were divorced) for part of her high school year herself, but one she claimed wasn't so bad. She applied to a much better public high school. (you can enter high schools outside your neighborhood if you score decently on a citywide test) instead. Said if she stayed at that high school she doubts she would have gone to college. She goes back to poor public high schools to talk about going to college.

A little bit confused on the details, but that was the gist I got.
Imagine you're a teacher in this school with riots. How do you handle this situation? Give up? Try your hardest every day? Few if any suburban schools have situations anywhere near this bad. To make this worse, in NYC specifically (dunno about other cities), the newest, least experienced teachers [I'm told teaching at school in a bad neighborhood can be a miserable experience] often get stuck in the worst public schools.

In that situation, she was lucky that the city had some decent schools elsewhere and students were allowed to transfer out to a better school. You can see where this leads... any student who cares leaves these worst-performing city schools. And any teacher will try their hardest not to teach there, leaving only the least experienced and worst teachers.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2013, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,062 posts, read 102,785,508 times
Reputation: 33122
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
It's not always inappropriate. I don't think you understand where I'm coming from, though. Baltimore is a lot different from Denver. An overwhelming number of students come from households with a lot of problems. Multiple times more than Denver, I promise you.

You don't know squat about Denver.

You said you couldn't say how to fix schools because aren't an educator. Are planners educators? Then why should they be tasked with job? Schools just don't often come under the purview of urban planners.

I had to go help with dinner or I would have said more. Planners can have an expectation that the schools will provide a decent education to their students. If there were higher expectations for the schools, they may not have let themselves go so far downhill.

Yadda yadda boilerplate "we were poor but we didn't know we were poor." This attitude is American folklore by this point.

What did I say that was untrue? Please be specific. That is not a freaking fairy tale. I am not amused with your mockery. I think a lot of people don't like to hear that stuff because it is true. It takes away some of the excuses of the present day school administrators.
You bet, I come from this stock as well. These jobs don't exist anymore.

I never said they did. That wasn't the freaking point.


You're right. Suburbs weren't really invented yet. Those eager hard working types moved there once invented. Well, the white ones anyway.

I'm not from the south. The northern suburbs were not as segregated as the southern ones. Are you saying all the eager hard-working types moved to the burbs? That is not borne out by history.

This makes no sense at all. What do urban planners have to do with schools?

Urban planners have admitted that schools were an after-thought to them. They thought that if the cities were made to appeal to the "gentry" that people would just flock to the cities. Most of them didn't get a rat's rear-end about the schools. My point is they should have. Even though the schools are often separate entities, so is the transportation district, yet the planners have an enormous interest in transportation. They could have gotten involved in the schools like they did with transportation. They could have acted like schools might be important to some people.


What are you talking about? Our schools take the standardized testing. I don't think there are any publicly funded schools that can get out of it.

Did I say schools could get out of standardized testing. NO, I did not. I was trying to forestall the comments that some would make that test scores are not the "be-all/end-all" determinant of school quality.


Savvy parents? Game the system? You sound like a Republican talking about "welfare queens." Aren't you always lecturing us to be more empathetic to parents? What would you do if the option was for your kid to go to a school where barely any learning was going on because of kids from truly terrible circumstances acting out constantly? Would you really call a single mom trying to make the best for her kid "savvy" and trying to "game the system?" Ugh!

I find that comment very offensive! I am talking about the very observable point that a lot of upper-middle class gentrifier parents manage to get their kids into these lottery-based schools. I wasn't talking about single moms. I am highly offended at your interpretation of what I said to be so negative about me. However, that is nothing new, is it?


OK. So you don't support charter schools, you think the rich suburban districts bear no responsiblity for educating poor kids in the city. Your plan is a recipe for the continued failure of schools here.

I did not say that and you freaking know it! I have freaking NEVER said such a thing about suburban school districts. You could search each and every one of my posts about education and never find that. I am extremely offended at your attempt to portray me like that. I happen to live in a state that has school equalization funding; we don't have a lot of "rich district/poor district stuff" here. Please go over to the Colorado forums and read each and every one of my posts about schools there.


It's very different here and in other post-industrial cities that have endured decades of codified racism, drugs, violence, etc. You admit that it's not so easy to "fix the schools" but you dismiss something that is working here.

I do not support charter schools. Period.

I suggest watching season 4 of The Wire; a good portrayal of what things are really like in some American schools.
I suggest you are the one who needs to learn what "things are really like in some American schools". I don't get my educational information from fictitious HBO shows.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2013, 08:13 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,992 posts, read 42,100,107 times
Reputation: 14811
Quote:
I'm not from the south. The northern suburbs were not as segregated as the southern ones. Are you saying all the eager hard-working types moved to the burbs? That is not borne out by history.
In general, northern suburbs were and are more segregated than southern ones. By design. And guess which suburbs is the most segregated in the nation? Any guesses? It is...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2013, 08:18 PM
 
9,524 posts, read 14,881,852 times
Reputation: 9769
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
OK. So you don't support charter schools, you think the rich suburban districts bear no responsiblity for educating poor kids in the city.
That is correct, they do not. Unless you also want to give the rich suburban districts _authority_ over the city districts... but I know that won't fly. Instead "responsibility" comes down to "hand over the money" and the money gets thrown down a rathole.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2013, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,062 posts, read 102,785,508 times
Reputation: 33122
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
In general, northern suburbs were and are more segregated than southern ones. By design. And guess which suburbs is the most segregated in the nation? Any guesses? It is...
I beg to differ. I was alive back then. I grew up in the north. My sister-in-law grew up in Maryland. She said even in Elkton, yes, Elkton, the food counters had signs directing blacks on where to sit. That never happend just across the state line in Pennsylvania.

I don't put much stock in these "most segregated" stories. It seems like a lot of places have been declared the "most segregated" at one time or another. There is a thread about most segregated cities on General US right now. Supposedly, Milwaukee is the most segregated city, according to some link. It all depends on what criteria are used to determine "most segregated".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2013, 08:19 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,121,304 times
Reputation: 3118
OK, Katiana. You don't have the solutions, but you know what is being tried is wrong, and you don't care to learn any more about schools in places with problems you don't understand, because you already know. We will agree to disagree, and I will move on

PS I'm not a huge fan of the Wire, but the schools season was pretty accurate. The series was not fantasy, it was written and acted by people who have lived these lives. If you prefer non fiction (still HBO) watch Hard Times at Douglass High.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2013, 08:22 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,121,304 times
Reputation: 3118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I beg to differ. I was alive back then. I grew up in the north. My sister-in-law grew up in Maryland. She said even in Elkton, yes, Elkton, the food counters had signs directing blacks on where to sit. That never happend just across the state line in Pennsylvania.
I believe it. Cecil County remains a pretty intolerant place, despite its proximity to the metro areas of Baltimore and Philadelphia. Its always rumored that the Klan is still active there.

PA wasn't without segregation and racial turmoil, though. Check out the history of York PA in the 60s and 70s, if you can stomach it.

Plenty of confederate flags can be found flying in PA and DE, btw. That ain't about "history." I saw some bozos tooling around Baltimore a few weeks ago with a 4 ft tall confederate flag in the back of their giant truck. I think that's the real life equivalent of trolling.

Last edited by HandsUpThumbsDown; 04-08-2013 at 08:32 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2013, 08:23 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,992 posts, read 42,100,107 times
Reputation: 14811
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I beg to differ. I was alive back then. I grew up in the north. My sister-in-law grew up in Maryland. She said even in Elkton, yes, Elkton, the food counters had signs directing blacks on where to sit. That never happend just across the state line in Pennsylvania.

I don't put much stock in these "most segregated" stories. It seems like a lot of places have been declared the "most segregated" at one time or another. There is a thread about most segregated cities on General US right now. Supposedly, Milwaukee is the most segregated city, according to some link. It all depends on what criteria are used to determine "most segregated".
I'm referring to current residential segregation, obviously segregation as in blacks sit here in say, a store, didn't happen in the north at least in the mid 20th century. The article is rather accurate, the separation is obvious when much of the area has neighborhoods with nearly zero black people.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2013, 08:26 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,121,304 times
Reputation: 3118
Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
That is correct, they do not. Unless you also want to give the rich suburban districts _authority_ over the city districts... but I know that won't fly. Instead "responsibility" comes down to "hand over the money" and the money gets thrown down a rathole.
I'm not advocating for it either, just pointing out that the poster basically took two options to "fix the schools" off the table and identified approximately zero other options.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top